Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Relative Benefits of Fame

I found myself bartending for my friend Patty the other day. Even though I'd just sold a painting, I'm the frugal sort and 150 bucks is nothing to be sneezed at.
(The general rule of thumb in the painting game is that you can't sneeze at $150 until you start selling your own stuff for a hundred grand. So I'm a third of the way there. Can't wait, by the way.)
Plus, the payment hadn't yet come through and I, truth be told, was a little light in the wallet. Plus, I do truly love this catering business. It helps me reconnect with my restaurant roots (a time in my life that was truly fun) without the down-side of actually working in a restaurant. Plus I only do it once in a while, so it always feels like a giggle as opposed to a grind (although one's feet do tend to ache towards the end of a given gig). Plus I get to hang out with my friends Chuck and Patty and, when nobody's looking, eat little chicken salad sandwiches.

Anyway, so I was bartending for my friend Patty the other day, offering drinks to a lovely bunch of extended family members who'd just returned from a funeral. Not as much fun as a wedding (my personal favorite catering gig), but one tries to provide comfort where one can.

Towards the end of the day, one of the guests--a lovely woman from someplace called Jacksonville whom I'll call Ramona for purposes of this post--asked me if I had any interesting New York stories. I said no. She pressed ahead, asking me if I'd ever seen Sarah Jessica Parker (a question that makes me smile just thinking about it). I said no (although I did see her husband in "The Producers" and I did once see Cynthia Nixon walking down 7th Avenue). She pressed ahead, in the most charming way, and asked if I'd ever seen anybody famous. I said no (which wasn't actually true, but I couldn't think of anything good so I just demured).

Ramona looked crestfallen so, after a moment's reflection, I decided to throw her a bone.

"Well, I'm famous," I told her.
This, I can assure you, perked her up.
"No you're not."
"Yes I am."

Then I told her about being on the Today Show, and in The Times, and NBC Evening News and 20/20. I was about to tell her about my email buddy Rebecca [redacted], who's writing her thesis about my Wall Street series, when somebody who was listening--maybe Ramona's husband--said "Hey, I've heard of you." Then a couple of other people chimed in. Then Ramona and I had our picture taken together and she seemed really pleased at having what one could legitimately call an out-of-the-blue New York Moment.

Me? My preference is to stick to my Bruce Wayne persona when bartending. It's good to have a couple of moments in the day when not absolutely everything is about me. But, like I said, she looked crestfallen.

And, as noted above, one tries to provide comfort where one can.


Blogger Shan said...

It's Shan, not Ramona, but then I couldn't remember your name either! It was a pleasure meeting you Geoffrey and I'm very impressed with your work! I'll keep checking out your site to see what's new. By the way, the pictures you took of Will & I turned out great - Thank you!

1:07 PM  

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